JOHN PAUL II - A MYSTERY OF GREATNESS
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
It has already been 8 years since the moment when the unforgettable pope John Paul II passed away to Lord. On 2 April 2005 at 9.37 pm the whole world fell into deep sadness, silence and prayer. It is proved here by the films presenting St. Peter’s Square on that memorable evening, with vast groups of pilgrims on whose faces very deep grief and tears were visible.
The world loves this pope so much, appointed for the throne of the Holy See at the age of 58, who convinces with his joy of faith and the power of love and hope, who is wandering through continents with belief of close presence of God. We still remember that as Peter of our times and the bishop of Rome he blessed the city and the world, he visited Roman parishes, that he did not neglect the Churches of particular countries and small local communities, although he was the pope of the universal Church.
We, Poles, used to say ‘our Pope’ about him. And although we knew cardinal Karol Wojtyła from his Cracow times, then when on 16 October 1978 we heard the announcement of a cardinal Proto-deacon ‘Habemus Papam’, since that moment we had looked at him in a completely different way, admiring his other decisions, wise words and God’s example. And he let us get to know him as a man who loved the faithful entrusted to his care and who was loved by them very much and even adored. Everybody has had memories about him till today, not saying about the Italians who treat him as their beloved Holy Father.
The personality of the Holy Father was characterized by the highest intellectual and spiritual format. He was an unusual pastor of extraordinary charism both in difficult matters connected with science, philosophy and also with problems of ordinary people. He was a careful observer of social processes, who could take his attitude towards them, not condemning or reject anybody. During his pilgrimages to nations oppressed by totalitarian regimes, he was trying to speak to them, and on behalf of them, because he was aware that people were not able to do it by themselves. Therefore he was not convenient, therefore he had to go through a difficult experience of the assassination and also derision and criticisms. But people had their own opinions and appreciated honesty, courage, wisdom and kindness of that Pope. John Paul II knew that he had to be where he had to stand in defence for people and raise good intentions. The world has been grateful to him for it till today.
The mystery of greatness of John Paul II was in the fact that, first of all, he was deeply open to God in the Holy Trinity . he showed Him immense respect and complete entrustment in celebrated Eucharist, through adoration of the Holiest Sacrament, immersing himself in a prayer and he was certain about His help through the action of the Holy Spirit. In his entrustment to God he gave an example to bishops, priests and the whole Church. He expressed his trustfulness in the power of prayer with the words addressed to Poles – similarly like now pope Francis – just at the beginning of pontificate: ‘Remember about me at Jasna Góra and everywhere’. He repeated his request also later, broadening it with a probability of his death: ’Remember about me in the prayer during my life and after my death’. Today we are praying to him more and more frequently, believing that as the God’s saint – we remember this loud ‘Santo subito!’ on St. Peter’s square – he can intercede in prayers for a lot of graces for us.
Images and statues of blessed John Paul II are in churches, chapels, on squares of the whole world and, what is interesting – they are still new. There is also a continuous prayer through his intercession in difficult human life matters, especially for the grace of health, help in finding work, for the grace of having offspring. It seems that there are more and more such requests, that we are aware of the fact what such an intercessor in Heaven means. Let’s take an advantage of this possibility, because John Paul II did not diminish any request, he was an unusual person who understood human poverty. And there is no doubt that he is a great patron of the contemporary Church, and mainly the patron of Poland. So, let’s entrust the fates of our Homeland to this Pope of the Polish nation.